Gay in Beijing

Notes from the Rainbow Underground – Julien

Somehow, someway, I became the only foreigner to join Purple, the officially “unofficial” LGBTQ organization of Tsinghua University and the greater Wudaokou area. To commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on May 17, Purple planned to hand out rainbow flags in front of the main cafeteria on campus. When IDAHO came, the event lasted less than five minutes before students were escorted away by campus security. I watched the flood of messages in our WeChat group as people scurried to come up with a Plan B. Yet no one felt the shut-down of Plan A was out of the ordinary. In fact, it was expected.